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How did you get into civils?

Female engineer 3x2

The role of the civil engineer has changed. Civils teams are made up of a vibrant mix of disciplines – a far cry from the traditional teams of engineers, designers and quantity surveyors of the past.

New Civil Engineer is conducting some research into how the profession is changing and we are interested in talking to anyone who has entered the profession through an unusual route.

You might have qualified as an environmental engineer, or graphic designer, or even have an arts degree and found yourself working within civil engineering. You might be a coder who once built computer games but now works in the BIM-rich world of the civil engineering design office. You might have once been on the front line with the Armed Forces and are now bringing your project management skills to bear on major projects. Either way, we want to hear from you.

Did you encounter any blockers? Was it easy to transfer your skills and gain the necessary qualifications? We want to know how the industry can remove the blockers to appeal to new people.

The research may include an interview, and an invite to a round table debate in London to be published in New Civil Engineer later in the year.

We’re doing it because we don’t see the oft-quoted skills shortage as a crisis. We see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to refresh the industry and bring in broader, more diverse skills.

We’re awash with reports predicting the abyss: the National Infrastructure Plan for Skills, published late last year, says Britain must recruit and train 100,000 new construction personnel by 2020.

Similarly, the Construction Industry Training Board says that more than 5,000 civil engineers will be needed to meet demand by the end of this decade, according to a report published in January.

This volume of people is not going to come from within; on these timescales universities are not going to produce the number of graduates needed, even if demand for the courses was there. Even apprentices are not going to fill the void alone.

We need to attract in others with other skills. And to do that we need to make them feel welcome; feel like this is an industry where they can make an impact and belong.

Hence our research. Please email Michaila Hancock with your contact details and a few sentences explaining your background and where you are now, and we will be in touch.

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